Slow salmon run hurting West Michigan anglers and businesses

Posted at 4:58 PM, Oct 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-11 16:58:37-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- There's bad news for local fisherman: the annual salmon run is running late.

Anglers from all over are finding themselves high and dry. Glen Blackwood, owner of Great Lakes Supply Fishing Co. in Rockford told FOX 17 the lack of rain and unusually warm temperatures are causing much of the problem.

"Salmon head north based on water temperatures and flow," Blackwood said. "It's like an early May day instead of an October day. We have a dry and warm fall. We just need a big cold rain to get water temps to where these fish will be comfortable."

Blackwood believes another factor hurting the run is because the state fishing department has cut stocking these fish. Salmon are now running north in fewer numbers than normal.

But diehard anglers is still trying their luck.

"I just go fishing and don't pay attention to what people tell me," said John as he fished the Grand River Tuesday. "The secret to catching a lot of fish is to go fishing a lot."

Not only is the run late, it's leaving an economic hole here in West Michigan, Blackwood said.

"It not only impacts our shop but the local merchants here in town and the fisheries up and down the coast, like gas stations, hotels, fishing stores, tackle shops, as well as the big lake economy," said Blackwood.

Sooner or later, migratory salmon will eventually run north. Blackwood says it's only a matter of time.